ARBcon – European’s first Augmented Reality Conference


Last Friday (23.04.2010) European’s 1st Augmented Reality conference ARBcon [] (@arbconeu) took place in Berlin (see also the Mobile Zeitgeist interview with Augmented Citizen Dan Romescu two weeks ago. Even it was only an eight weeks time since the Mobile World Congress in February to make this happen it was a successful event. We saw many international attendees and these were truly AR interested people. Supposed to be around 160 in total I was surprised but augmented reality is already gaining a lot of traction!

Unfortunately the ash cloud made travel to Berlin difficult. Instead some speakers got streamed via Skype into the audience – but did a pretty well job with that! Thanks to aurea the whole event was easy to follow for everyone else as well due to the live web-streaming. And Dan told me that they are working on providing the whole video again here or here – for those who missed it.

There were many sessions by true AR thought leaders. Listening to their creative thoughts and ideas was stunning. But what will the AR market really be like in the future? Or as David Blumberg from Blumberg Capital (@DavidBlumberg) asked Dan Romescu “How many good technologies became good companies?” Dan replied with “So many that you can enumerate with your one hand fingers.”

Presenters took us “into uncertainty” (to quote guest moderator Kwela Sabine Hermanns (@KwelaHermanns)) and we will have to see what will be transformed into market value. But see a lot of cool stuff in the future!

From the monetization side we had a short panel discussion between Smaato CMO Harald Neidhardt (@smaato) and Madvertise CEO Carsten Frien (@madvertise_news) with Dan Romescu moderating. The audience was interested what these Mobile Advertising Players think about AR being part of Mobile Advertising in the future. Both were sure that AR is going to be part of the value chain. However the two had a different view on how and when. Also the question was how AR can fit into marketers’ plans to promote their products and at which pricing method. Will there be a “cost-per-engagement” model? I think we will hear more of the two converging fields (mobile advertising and AR) soon.

If you are interested in augmented reality and you should stay tuned to and Dan’s Twitter stream @ARBconeu. There will be something interesting coming up soon in another European city! Surely worth going – without volcano ashes traveling will also be much more convenient than it was for attendees at this time. ;-)

For details of the event and a list of AR networking options see here.

An amusing view from Dan on having organized the event can be found here.

I found a blog post about the ARBcon from Jan Jursa here.

About the author: Philipp Deprez took his professional experience in different fields of the mobile and online world. He started at Zurich based OEM Ascom, where he did research in the dual band handset market. After that and after studying engineering management in Karlsruhe he turned to online portals and transaction services at Commerzbank in Asia. He was based in Shanghai and managed the local requirements for online banking systems including the roll out throughout the Asian branches. At Tomorrow Focus AG and Smaato Inc. he learned about the character of mobile advertising. He understands mobile advertising as a service that offers interaction between people and products. Hence he feels confident that mobile advertising will develop. It will then be seamlessly integrated in the user’s media consumption and therefore will perfectly fit in the daily lifestyle.

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